back to article We live so fast I can't even finish this sent...

Call me an idiot* but I have no idea what you are talking about, why you're saying it or indeed what's going on any more. Oh, and welcome to the Year 51-85-139. Do you know what I'm talking about? No? Then you know exactly what I'm talking about. Worried that my weekly outbursts of cynicism here might simply betray a …

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  1. Khaptain Silver badge

    Zen Wisdom - Required for contemporary survival.

    "Ignore it or take the piss out of it."

    Can easilly be applied to most of what the various media are continually spewing out..

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Zen Wisdom - Required for contemporary survival.

      ...especially media and press release references to "AI"

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Zen Wisdom - Required for contemporary survival.

      Ah the UK 'medja', where The Sun is twinned with yet another latrine in suburban Kampala.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Twinning toilets

    At first, upon reading that sentence, I thought "what the hell is that ?". When finished with the article (nice rant btw, great start to the New Year there), I searched for it, and found that it is yet another way to get valuable aid to poor countries. No way you can complain about it in this era of enforced political correctness.

    However, there are already several high-profile aid organisms working in poor countries and funneling masses of money and effort to help out, so why is there a need of yet another organism which is much more obscure and whose reliability is not well established ? I am always wary of non-profits I've never heard about ; you have no idea what they're actually doing with the money nor how efficient they are in bringing the aid they say they bring. I'd want to see other photos of twinned toilets to control that they're not sending the same picture to every company that forks over the money.

    1. dak

      Re: Twinning toilets

      There are indeed lots of high-profile aid organisms [sic] but they tend to come with CEOs with high-profile pay packets so I steer away from them and work directly with local people where I can, avoiding any expensive overheads.

      I'm sure the toilet-twinning bunch are good folk but if you are still basking in the post-Christmas glow of goodwill and generosity, could I point you towards here - http://kitegacc.org/. I am personally connected with this fine organisation and can vouch for their work.

      Oh, and they build toilets, too.

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
        Pirate

        Kitega CC

        > http://kitegacc.org/. I am personally connected with this fine organisation

        "Malware detected" per BitDefender, & access blocked.

        1. dak

          Re: Kitega CC

          Thanks, I'll let them know.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Twinning toilets

      It seems legit, I've used them a few times...they've been around for more than a few years as well.

      But...there is a disclaimer that the toilet in the photograph is not the exact one you're sponsoring. Not only is it not cost-efficient for them to go round photographing every single toilet in Africa, but it also gives them the freedom to pool resources if it is decided that it's more economical to build a public multi-user facility in the village...or it's possible that the toilet you're paying for is going to be BUILT using your funds, so obviously there's no photograph yet.

      It does seem like a worthwhile cause, given how bad sanitation is one of the deadliest problems, yet one of the easiest to fix.

      It's also not that obscure. They frequently advertise in service stations up and down the country, and have been for a long time.

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Twinning toilets

        Not only is it not cost-efficient for them to go round photographing every single toilet in Africa

        Dunno, my pal Quentin --- well, acquaintance, really -- was in charge of a scheme to twin public toilets [ men's only ] between London & Home Counties and Newcastle and mining villages, to encourage a warm brotherhood or something: so he spent a lot of time hanging around public lavatories in Hampstead or Blaydon with his little camera in his hand.

        I really didn't know him very well.

    3. Julz Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Twinning toilets

      Are they taking the piss?

      1. Andy Non Silver badge

        Re: Twinning toilets

        Someone is probably making a shit load of money out of it.

    4. Semtex451 Silver badge

      Re: Twinning toilets

      I wondered if the one in Uganda also had lines of what looked like talcum powder in it too

    5. Anoymous Coward

      Re: Twinning toilets

      In case anyone is interested, the good folk running Toilet Twinning used to be an independent charity, but to reduce overheads it is now run by www.Tearfund.org, one of the UK's largest Disaster Relief and Community Development charities. My loo is twinned with one in CAR.

  3. SVV Silver badge

    Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

    And in case you want to know what 2020 is going to taste like, the official flavour is salt and vinegar.

    The cult of fleeting change at an ever increasing rate has more than a little to do with the fact that not only is implementing a tech solution with something new and shiny much more exciting than using something perfectly adequate that's been aound for decades, it also allows people to blame the incompetent mess they produce on the fact that the technology's not yet "mature" and claim that all will be miraculous once all the magical new features arrive in the next version. After a few cycles of this, they decide to reimplement everything using a completely different new hype. This has the marvellous benefit of covering up the fact that the system would have been rubbish whatever was used to create it, and devalues the concept of experience in favour of the constant trend surfer.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

      > And in case you want to know what 2020 is going to taste like, the official flavour is salt and vinegar.

      Why stop at "xxx of the year"? Let's further moronize this nonsense by asking "influencers" what they thing will be the xxx of 2021, and flood the web with sites like "We discovered what will be the xxx of 2021 and you will not believe your eyes!".

      And let's do all that by June 2020.

      -- Satan (aka the Satan of 2020)

      1. Ordinary Donkey

        Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

        (aka the Satan of 2020)

        I heard that was going to be Claire Balding, after some rather damaging revelations about something she said in primary school.

      2. the Jim bloke Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

        Surprised that "influencers" arent going all 'gangsta' and 'street' by spelling it as "influenzas"

        might have a better chance of going viral..

    2. Franco Silver badge

      Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

      "And in case you want to know what 2020 is going to taste like, the official flavour is salt and vinegar."

      That's disappointing, as the official colour would indicate that the official flavour is cheese and onion.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

        I'm old enough to still associate blue with salt and vinegar, and green with cheese and onion. Those colours made sense, and I have no idea when the 'official colours' for crip packets changed.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

          Pick your sides in the Holy War between Golden Wonder and Walkers.

          1. Franco Silver badge

            Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

            or KP or Tudor or even Smiths depending on where you were from, Tayto for our Irish commentards no doubt.

            1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

              Only if you give me a mug of Barry's to wash them down with...

            2. Tom Wood

              Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

              The best crisps are Yorkshire's own Seabrooks, cheese and onion flavour, which come in a yellow bag. Which is probably the closest 4-bit colour to cheese, or onions for that matter.

              1. Alistair Dabbs

                Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

                I stopped buying crisps when I left school so perhaps someone here can enlighten me: do they still sell packets of unflavoured crisps that come with a little sachet of salt that you can sprinkle into the packet and shake it up?

                1. Franco Silver badge

                  Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

                  They do indeed, Salt n Shake. Although Walkers own Smiths now as well.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

                  "[...] with a little sachet of salt [...] "

                  An innovation that was harder to open than the previous twist of blue paper. On occasion you were delivered a newsworthy packet full of salt packages - and no crisps.

              2. veti Silver badge

                Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

                It sounds like you poor heathens back in the Old Country have missed out on the veritable renaissance of crisps that we've been enjoying here in the colonies.

                Here at my elbow is a bowl of hand-cooked, organic, beer-flavoured (Nelson hop) "Proper" crisps. As far beyond "kettle chips" as kettles themselves are beyond the cheap, oily experience that is Walkers'. And they're not the only domestic manufacturer of gourmet crisps - there's at least a couple more.

                1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                  Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

                  Re: "proper" crisps - my local branch of Aldi (cheap supermarket in the UK and other bits of Europe) were selling Guinness-flavoured crisps before Christmas. They were so good, I bought many packets (since Aldi tend to stop selling anything you want to buy fairly quickly), but now they have all gone. Now I feel 51-85-139...

            3. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

              Anyone remember ChipMonk\Munk crisps (Not seen them since the late 60's).

              Golden Wonders flavors to bring back & properly, not tasting like half a dozen varients of acid.

              Savoury Sausage

              Sausage & Tomato

              Icon because they go well with crisps.

        2. gotes

          Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

          Walkers Squares (formerly Smiths square crisps) still use blue for salt & vinegar and green for cheese & onion, despite the Walkers branding.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

        the official flavour is cheese and onion

        Ew! If you like eating something that tastes like satans jockstrap after a particularly vigourous burning (I imagine - I lack direct experience since satan is only a human imagination..) then feel free to eat cheese and onion crisps.

        They probably wouldn't taste as bad if they actually tasted of cheese and onion. But they don't. They taste far, far, far worse.

        Anyone that doesn't think that salt and vinegar is the One True Crisp Flavour (with the occasional nod to ready salted) is an evil unredeemed heretic and will burn in the bonfire of (crisp packet) vanities. So there!

        (And I refuse to mention the utter abomination that is the cocktail made from 'shrimp'. Because even thinking about it imperils my utterly mortal soul.)

        1. Franco Silver badge

          Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

          Only a Sith deals in absolutes. :-)

          IMO there is no "best" crisp flavour, because different brands of crisps have flavours that I prefer that others do not.

          Walkers: Worcester Sauce

          McCoys: Bacon Sizzler

          Highlander: Bacon and Brown Sauce

          Hula Hoops: Chilli

          Kettle Chips: Salt and Pepper

          Sensations: Chicken and Thyme

          Pringles: Salted

        2. Muscleguy Silver badge

          Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

          Back in NZ it's Sour cream and chive which I feel is a closer description of the trope. They are thickish crinkle cut as well and very moreish. Though the bags you can buy online here in the UK tend to be too well travelled and full of crumbs when you want something you can dip.

          De rigeur in NZ is onion dip. Take one packet Maggi onion soup, add reduced cream and 1tsp vinegar, mix and refrigerate for at least an hour to firm up. Even if there are more sophisticated salsa type dips there will ALWAYS be an onion dip.

    3. Dr Scrum Master

      Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

      With all the fuss (from the idle commenterai) about the noughties, the teens and the relief of being in the twenties - a sensibly-named decade - I couldn't help but wonder that this is only a recent phenomenon.

      What culture in history would be some disposability-obsessed as to name its decades?

      1. ArrZarr Silver badge

        Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

        Cultures where life changed sufficiently quickly that each decade could have a distinct identity. Just look at computers since the 50s along with a view on what a computer from that decade was like from a '90s child. At no other point in history has the rate of change been so great that each decade could be readily distinguished just by the tech you would see in people's houses.

        50s - An analog world with only the daring looking at these new-fangled whajamacallems.

        60s - An analog world with computers that are as small as a garage. Two computers occasionally talk to each other under laboratory conditions.

        70s - Everything massively process driven is computerised: banks, ATC get their own software. It's very basic and would be polished to a mirror shine over the next 40 years. Computers have an opportunity to get chatty every now and then.

        80s - Everything else starts taking a look at computers and realises that a computer that fits on a desk could make white-collar work so much better. Computers start getting chatty regularly.

        90s - The internet starts. People get their own computers with this fancy new thing called a start menu.

        00s - THE INTERNET really happens. The nerds have won.

        10s - THE INTERNET gets populated by non-nerds and ruined by Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Amazon. Everything is awful.

        The above being said, the scary thing is that the rate of advancement is increasing. It's possible that in the next 20 years or so we will have to break decades in half because the world of 2030 will be so different from the world of 2035 that you can't pin the decade down to one area.

        1. The Nazz Silver badge

          Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

          Why do decades always have to be listed as 50;s , 60;s etc?

          Personally, i think a great decade of pop/rock music commenced around 1964. YMWV

          1. veti Silver badge

            Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

            Decades were always approximations. Depending on your priorities, the 80s, for instance, may have started anytime between 1979 (Thatcher's election) and 1983 (when The Smiths released Hand in Glove), and (again, depending how you want to count) may be said to have ended as early as 1989 (season 1 of The Simpsons).

            It's just easier to say "the 60s" than "the intense counterculture and enthusiasm for civil rights and drug use that really only lasted about five years".

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

          > 90s - The internet starts.

          That would be the web. The internet started in the sixties, and was in pretty wide use by the early eighties.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

          There were also the Roaring 20s - and the narrower "fin de siècle". Both times when things were changing. In 1890 Hollerith started the data punched card industry. The 1920s saw advances in motorcars, aeroplanes, radio, cinema, and uses of electricity.

          The 1950s were the decade of the transistor - particularly transistor radios aiding the creation of "teenager" pop culture.

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

        What culture in history would be some disposability-obsessed as to name its decades?

        This is called "modernity". It's been around for about three to five centuries in European-based cultures, depending on what subculture you were in. It seems to me that it's a bit late to complain about it now, but if you'd like more material, there are a number of reactionary works available, such as All that is Solid Melts into Air.

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

          Previously, of course, when things were a little less fast-paced, things were generally measured in reigns, as in "the Elizabethan era" or "Victorian times" (for the UK I suppose) or even (earlier) "during the reign of Ceasar Augustus".

          It amounts to the same thing as naming the decades, just on a longer (normally) timescale.

          M.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

            Even they would subdivide things. Early Victorian, mid Victorian, and late Victorian were all used when needed. The decade time unit is pretty useful because the average person will live through a small number of them, and their parents lived through two to four before they came around. If things are changing, the changes are noticeable across the decades when they wouldn't necessarily be as obvious from year to year. I couldn't say there were really obvious differences between 2014 and 2015 in many realms (except things like geopolitics where a boundary occurs whenever a crisis happens), but doing the same between the 2000s and 2010s is very easy.

            1. veti Silver badge

              Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

              "Early/mid/late Victorian" were periods invented well after the event. People in, e.g., the 1880s used to have a very clear idea of what they meant by "the 50s".

              People like to wank on about the pace of change today, but Victorian Britain was arguably changing even faster. There's a huge difference between the London of 1850 and 1890 - much more so than from 1950 to 1990. It's the difference between a loose conurbation of small towns, and a single big city.

              Politically, the period saw the invention of trade unions and socialism. Culturally, it's the distance from Emily Bronte and Lewis Carroll to Arthur Conan Doyle and JM Barrie. Militarily, it's the introduction of breech-loading rifles, machine guns, percussive shells that actually worked, ironclad steam warships. Homes went from candle and lamplight, through gas, to electric lights. Tap water became drinkable. First trains, then telegraph, then telephones. Heck, even cars were invented in the period.

              Sure, times are changing now - but to say that the changes are bigger or faster than ever seen before is very doubtful.

    4. The Nazz Silver badge

      Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

      Salt and Vinegar you say?

      Nah, not for those of us still stuck in the 70's it isn't.

      Do i have to spell it out C-H-E-E-S-E-A-N-D-O-N-I-O-N-S

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

        I suppose that "salt and vinegar" and "cheese and onions" would be better choices than "liver and anything"?

    5. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Now you know what 2020 is going to look like

      And the official smell of 2020? I suspect it is going to be a combination of uncleared latrine and eucalyptus-fragranced wood smoke. This decade has already started off so horrendously with the bush fires in Australia so slapping a colour, smell or flavour to it is really is not going to make much difference AFAIK

  4. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Pint

    content experience user interactivity response

    It is the phrase "weekly outbursts of cynicism" draws my ire, not the term "idiot"

    Whilst I am keenly aware that, at our age, a month passes the way a week used to, and also that we have had an abnormally frequent dose of Dabbsy lately, I would suggest the term "weekly" is applying an iota too much pressure to the envelope of the words meaning.

    TFI Friday but next week will be hell, so I shall be looking forward to another little SftW,S next Friday.

    ICON - raised to all those sods at work like me, and of course Dabbsy whose life is always a struggle, despite it also being a long holiday.

  5. jake Silver badge

    It's been around long enough to have a name.

    It's called "short attention span theater".

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: It's been around long enough to have a name.

      I was hoping for a better acronym than that...

      1. Toltec

        Re: It's been around long enough to have a name.

        Short Hyperactive Interval Theater

        Better?

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